My last post was about how we disrespect the head-spine relationship by pushing the head and neck forward toward objects that we interact with—such as our book, fork or a coffee cup.
Each and every time you push (or drop) your head and neck forward toward objects you are encouraging what has often been called Forward Head Posture. The more up-to-date term is Text Neck. Take a survey of people texting on their smartphones today and you will see why this is an appropriate term.
If you’re concerned you have Forward Head Posture or Text Neck, you might look for some exercises to correct this (such as pulling your chin down and in and your head back and holding it for 10 seconds—repeat 5 times—this is one I’ve had students show me they’ve been taught). I’m not necessarily recommending that you do this exercise.
Instead of adding something new to do (exercises) you might find it more effective and interesting to observe what you’re already doing (how you habitually react to objects that you interact with) that’s encouraging the posture in the first place and choose to respond differently (by bringing things to you).
Eve Bernfeld, an Alexander Teacher in Portland Oregon, has coined a wonderful phrase to remind you that you can….Bring it to You (BITY).
I’ve changed it slightly and call it the itty BITY principle.
It rhymes and is easier for me to remember.
It’s a lot to pay attention to these things especially if you’ve not been used to it up to now. So start observing and choosing how to respond to one object and only one. I’d suggest your fork. In order to observe what you’re doing and choose how to respond you have to slow down a bit at first. And slowing down and taking more time to eat has many beneficial effects for your heath.
As you get used to paying some attention to your fork you can move on to other objects. Take it slow. At a pace that’s right for you.
What if I drop food on myself? I usually find this is happening because I’m overloading my utensil and trying to shovel the food into my mouth in an attempt to rush and finish my meal. Try putting 1/3 less food on each forkful. Slow down, enjoy your meal, and BITY.